A new issue of Democracy is out. Martha Nussbaum reconsiders John Rawls' Political Liberalism. A look at why Democrats have become more liberal than Bill Clinton because of Ralph Nader. Relax, liberals, you've already won: No matter who prevails in November, the four-decade-long conservative counterrevolution is over. Sean Wilentz reviews The Conservative Ascendancy by Donald T. Critchlow; Comeback by David Frum; and Grand New Party by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam. From Nerve, here a list of the 50 worst sex scenes in cinema. Does science make belief in God obsolete? A wide range of commentators weigh in. The dream of Afghan democracy is dead: Anatol Lieven offers an exit strategy for the west. From FP, an interview with Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, on the new world energy order; and a look at the top tourist spots Americans can’t visit. Is Google making us stupid? Nicholas Carr on what the Internet is doing to our brains. Amanda Schaffer reviews Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative by Priscilla Wald. It's no wonder New Yorkers have become obsessed with pictures of kittens (and dogs, and ducks) doing cute stuff. Climate chaos is inevitable — we can only avert oblivion. Human wrecking ball: The owner of the L.A. Times is destroying a demoralized institution.

Go start anew: Over three decades have passed since the heyday of radical politics and the counterculture, yet the conflicts and moral contradictions of the time animate four recent novels by writers too young to remember those events firsthand. When bankers went bonkers: A review of The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: the Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means by George Soros. All together now? James Surowiecki on how corporate marriages rarely end in bliss. The Foodie Election: What you can learn from a candidate’s choice of food. Here's a complete listing of vice-presidential coverage from TNR. Haters without a cause: What do the Hillary bashers do now? If the presumed Democratic nominee is elected, he could change the equation for liberal advocacy groups. A review of Political Hypocrisy: The Mask of Power from Hobbes to Orwell and Beyond by David Runciman. A review of Amartya Sen's The Argumentative Indian, Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat 3.0 and Martha Nussbaum's The Clash Within. Flag Etiquette 101: With the help of a few etiquette experts, the American flag is fighting back. A review of The Biology of Human Longevity: Inflammation, Nutrition, and Aging in the Evolution of Lifespans by Caleb Finch. Joke-tellers found courage in a form of rebellion: An excerpt from Hammer & Tickle: The Communist Joke Book by Ben White.

From Cato Unbound, a debate on The Future of Copyright. From The American Interest, an article on the re-segregation of rock & roll. The Great Seduction: The most rampant decadence today is financial decadence, the trampling of decent norms about how to use and harness money. It is one of the most controversial issues in the art world today: Should museums disperse their collections and return antiquities to their original sites? Fight for art’s sake: The sea changes happening in the art scenario have never been much spoken about — how far apart are ideals from the actual causes? The lure of the curve from 1730 to today: Rococo is the style that will not die. Let the just times roll! A pause to appreciate the marvelousness of a black presidential nominee. A liberal like no other: An article on understanding Obama's bipartisan appeal. Ten reasons to worry about Obama's chances in November. Who's better (pant)suited for the White House, Michelle Obama or Cindy McCain? An article on Carol McCain, the wife John McCain callously left behind. A look at why adultery can help save a marriage. From The New Yorker, a special section on faith and doubt; and Louis Menand reviews Ezra Pound: Poet: A Portrait of the Man and His Work by David Moody. Andreas Hultkrans reviews I Have Fun Everywhere I Go by Mike Edison.

From Harper's, an article on the calling of politics: Max Weber was a creature of his times, but he has remarkably much to say to us today. From CT, an article on how to pick a president — and why virtue trumps policy. William Galston on how Big Government got its groove back. ICED, ICED Baby: Using the internet to advocate for a borderless world. An article on Edward Albee at 80: Still a "young troublemaker". Katherine Hill reviews Happy Trails to You by Julie Hecht. Unbound: Publishers worry as new technologies transform their industry. A review of How to Be Useful: A Beginner's Guide to Not Hating Work by Megan Hustad. Yes, Dear, tonight again: Two married couples try to refresh their marriages with sex every night. Exponential technologies: Cheer up world—We are on the verge of great things. A review of The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes—and Why by Amanda Ripley. From The New York Times Magazine, a special issue on The Next City. The meaning of the butterfly: Why pop culture loves the "butterfly effect" — and gets it totally wrong. The case against the sovereign self: Alan Wolfe reviews Sovereignty: God, State, and Self by Jean Elshtain. Jesus made me puke: Matt Taibbi goes undercover with the Christian Right. A lesson in hai culture: What can linguists learn from cat-loving bloggers? Quite a lot, actually.

We may make snap judgments, or mull things carefully; why and when do we use the brain systems behind these decision-making styles? It makes sense for terrorists to associate themselves with a positive term such as “jihad”, but for the US to also call them by that name, however, is a strategic mistake; and intent on isolating its foes, the US has instead ended up marginalizing itself. Many Iranians think the Great Satan is just great — it's their own president they hate. If, as Sir Tim Berners-Lee suggests, the Web is still a drooling, id-driven baby that wallows in its own (proverbial) feces, it makes sense that we continue to be mired in its arrested development. The needle returns to the start of the song: The mysterious shifting tides of musical fashion have bewildered critics since the dawn of time. A review of Boxing: A Cultural History by Kasia Boddy. Has science made belief in God obsolete? Two scholars debate the Templeton Foundation's latest Big Question. High comedies: An article on great moments in the drug war Kulturkampf. Radar goes undercover to find out just how far a famous name will take you. A look at what heterosexuals can do on behalf of gays who want to marry. A review of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Utility: Happiness in Philosophical and Economic Thought by Anthony Kenny & Charles Kenny. A review of Pure Goldwater, ed. Barry  Goldwater Jr. and John Dean.

From Prospect, when historians matter: On Israel's 60th anniversary, Avi Shlaim, one of the country's revisionist "new historians", looks back on how their work changed the debate over 1948. Was Buckminster Fuller an important cultural figure because he produced inventions of practical value or because he didn’t? Ray Kurzweil is a futurist with a track record who makes his predictions using what he calls the Law of Accelerating Returns. Albert Mobilio reviews It’s Beautiful Here, Isn’t It...: Photographs by Luigi Ghirri. The White House's most successful disinformation campaign? That's not Iraq — it's the war on the estate tax. Esperanto language nerds to tackle globalization at G-8 Summit. Two scholars say most Americans get a healthy dose of political disagreement in their lives because, like moths to a flame, they can't help themselves. On swaps, derivatives and why the Bear Stearns bailout was one big pump-and-dump scheme. From the latest issue of Literary Review, a review of The Bolter: Idina Sackville: The Woman who Scandalised 1920s Society and Became White Mischief's Infamous Seductress by Frances Osborne. From Nerve, no end in sight: An article on aging and the male libido. Robert D. Kaplan comments on what it takes to earn the highest award the military can bestow—and why the public fails to appreciate its worth.

From Antiquity, a review of Prehistory: the Making of the Human Mind by Colin Renfrew; the ghosts of the Palaeolithic: a review of books on individual agency and behavioural change in perspective; and a review essay on climate change, culture history and the rebirth of circumpolar archaeology. From THES, does the Google generation, which has grown up with a deluge of data just clicks away, lack the independence of thought and critical rigour needed for higher study?  Bernard-Henri Levy on why it is time that we pay tribute to Simone de Beauvoir. Does the fairer sex need its own instructions on how to do everything? Jessica Crispin wants to know. Karin L. Kross reviews Daddy’s Girl by Debbie Drechsler.  Forget money, lobbyists' real power comes from information — here's three ideas that would reduce their influence on Congress and strengthen our democracy. Al Franken wants not just your laughter, but also your vote, but why is this man running? John Lukacs reviews Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World by Pat Buchanan. An interview with Jennifer Sey, author of Chalked Up: Inside Elite Gymnastics’ Merciless Coaching, Overzealous Parents, Eating Disorders, and Elusive Olympic Dreams. Why the U.S. is looking to build an aircraft that can stay aloft for five years at a time.

From Standpoint, Christianity is central to British identity, but its marginalisation has created a moral vacuum which radical Islam threatens to fill; Alain de Botton on why the "death of God" need not mean an end to the culture he inspired; an article on the science of the soul; and we must pay for cathedrals of knowledge if scientists are to solve the great mysteries of the universe. The Age of Innocence: An article on the fine legal line between teenage angels and monsters. From Not Bored!, here are cynical proposals for revolutionizing the advertising industry. Rick Perlstein on the meaning of Box 722: "Here is the fundamental tragedy of the backlash". Nicole Rudick reviews The Americans by Robert Frank. From NYRB, a review of books on how the mind works; Elizabeth Drew reviews A Time to Fight: Reclaiming a Fair and Just America by Jim Webb; Edmund White reviews books on Marguerite Duras; John Updike on "The Clarity of Things"; William Dalrymple reviews books on India and the place of sex. Our noses don't like the smell of BO, but maybe our brains do. A review of Does Ethics Have a Chance in a World of Consumers? by Zygmunt Bauman. What you read is what he is, sort of: For David Sedaris, reality is a subjective, slippery concept, especially in his essays. The great divide: Nir Rosen goes inside Baghdad’s Shiite slums to witness life under Muqtada al Sadr and his Mahdi Army.

From The New York Review of Magazines, an article on the hidden Hitchens: Sometimes he'd rather just read a book; an essay on prophylactics and your civil liberties; why a vote for any presidential hopeful is a vote for the pantsuit; Matt Miller on the elegant world of early Esquire; and and a look at how magazines learned to love the internet. Levitation has been elevated from being pure science fiction to science fact. An interview with Elizabeth Royte, author of Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It. From Cafe Babel, here are five eurosceptic myths about sick old EU. From TED, Susan Blackmore makes a bold new argument: Humanity has spawned a new kind of meme, the teme, which spreads itself via technology — and invents ways to keep itself alive. Martin van Creveld reviews Benny Morris' 1948: The First Arab Israeli War. The Battle of the Blogs: Will the fight between Daily Kos and MyDD have longer lasting implications than its founders realize? Wendy Lasser reviews A Journey Round My Skull by Frigyes Karinthy and The Two Kinds of Decay by Sarah Manguso. Strategists are chewing over a hypothetical scenario wherein Obama recieves millions more votes than McCain, but, because of the distribution of votes in the electoral college, McCain would become the president. Reihan Salam thinks McCain is in for a terrible shock if he wins.

From Spectrum, a special report on The Singularity, including an introduction, an article on two paths to the Singularity, and John Horgan on the consciousness conundrum. From Vanity Fair, here's an oral history of the Internet and how the Web was won; and does the media have a man crush on John McCain? James Wolcott finds out. From TAP, seven ways Hillary Clinton changed our politics: Political writers and policy thinkers weigh in. 3 A.M. for feminism: Clinton dead-enders and the crisis in the women's movement. From TNR, plotting the way forward: Essays on the type of campaign they hope to see Barack Obama run against John McCain. Doris Day sacrificed a lot for box-office success, but that doesn’t mean she was a victim: A review of Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door by David Kaufman. An interview with Salman Rushdie, a writer, not a martyr. RJ Eskow on Obama-Clinton as Lennon-McCartney circa 1970. From the latest issue of In Character, an interview with Michael Shermer, author of The Mind of the Market: Compassionate Apes, Competitive Humans, and Other Tales from Evolutionary Economics. From Jewcy, an article on demonizing Michelle Obama; and an article on the Jewish American Princess — Revisited. Research suggests male circumcision is a weapon in the sperm wars and that men fighting over women is nothing new.